Iron Tablets: Using Tips and Possible Side Effects

When taken in the right quantity, iron is deemed to be safe for most people. Like other tablets, it can have side effects like diarrhea or constipation, stomach upset and pain, vomiting and nausea. You can try reducing these side effects by taking the supplements with food. On the other hand, food can reduce the rate of iron absorption by your body. If possible, one is advised to take iron supplements on an empty stomach. If the side effects are many, taking them with food is advisable. However, there are foods you should avoid like cereals, tea, coffee and those containing daily products.

How to Take Iron Tablets

1. Things to Do Before Taking the Tablets

Before using the tablets, you need to inform the pharmacist or your doctor about any medical condition(s) that you may have since some interact with iron. Among those that you must mention the following:

It is wise to inform the doctor if you are taking any other medication since some might interact with iron. Some of them are: Penicillamine, mycophoenolate, doxycycline and thyroid hormones like levothyroxine, since iron might reduce their effectiveness.

However, there are others that might interact with iron apart from those that have been mentioned. It is better to consult with your doctor about any other medication you might be taking.

2. How to Take the Tablets

Possible Side Effects of Iron Tablets

Just like any other medication, the tablets might cause side effects. All these side effects might not occur, but if they do, seek medical attention.

Common Side Effects

Less Common Side Effects


In case you overdose, you will experience symptoms and signs like severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, bluish or pale fingernails and skin and general body weakness. For most children, an iron overdose causes poisoning, which can be lethal. If you get any of the mentioned symptoms, treat them as an emergency and seek immediate medical assistance.

How to Deal With the Side Effects of Iron Tablets

In most cases, your stool will become dark because of taking iron supplements. However, there are other people who have side effects that make it difficult to continue with the prescribed dosage. The most common side effects are constipation and stomach upsets. If you experience constipation, then you can take a stool softener to solve that problem. To have an easy time with your tablets and for them to be effective, you need to follow the tips:

If you cannot ingest tablets at all, your health provider can recommend an iron injection that is effective and alternative to the tablets.

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